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Dieren en planten

Water en land

Swan mussel


tot 20 centimeters


exterior: brown-green; interior: mother-of-pearl




rats, muskrats, otters



  • Dut: Gewone zwanenmossel
  • Lat: Anodonta cygnea
  • Eng: Swan mussel
  • Ger: Große Teichmuschel
  • Fre: Anodonte des cygnes
  • Dan: Dammusling
Swan mussel, from

Swan mussel

The swan mussel has a thin fragile shell. It is found in fresh stationary waters. It has a foot so that it maneuver a bit. There is one known incident of a swan mussel which ended up on the bank after a mechanical cleanup and 'crept' back into the water. However, this is a rare incident; swan mussels don't usually move more than a few centimeters. You can often find pearls in these mussels.

  • Distribution and habitat

    The swan mussel lives burrowed in the bottom in areas with fresh stationary water.

  • Parasites become hosts

    Just like the painter's mussel, swan mussel larvae parasitize on fish. In turn, adult mussels are 'used' by the fish species bitterling, which lays its eggs in the body cavity of freshwater mussels. The eggs develop between the mussel gills, but are not parasites. The eggs provide sufficient food for the little fish to grow. When they are developed enough, they leave the mussel.